ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Wednesday morning in St. Petersburg.
The governor spoke at 11 a.m. at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute about the current red tide bloom affecting the Tampa Bay area and the efforts to mitigate its impact.
“This has been a coordinated effort at all levels of government, with state, county and city governments working together to clean up the fish kills resulting from this red tide event and I was pleased to hear from everyone that was on the boat with me today that the bay looks a lot better than it did last week,” DeSantis said. “I think a lot of the reason for that was that everyone was on board to mitigate and obviously we put a lot of funding towards and we’ll continue to do more.”
The governor touted the addition of a dedicated funding source within the annual budget to fund mitigation efforts dealing with red tide and other toxic algal blooms.
“Before I took office, there was no dedicated source of funding in the annual budget to respond to red tide. That meant in order for the state to provide resources to assist in cleanup efforts, the state would have to actually declare a state of emergency and then grab unallocated general revenue,” DeSantis said.
The governor said the recent impact of Tropical Storm Elsa pushed more red tide into the Tampa Bay area, resulting in the recent fish kills seen there.
DeSantis was joined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Interim Secretary Shawn Hamilton and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Executive Director Eric Sutton.
This follows the governor’s news conference on Monday where he signed the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act into law that will protect and enhance the corridor. He also addressed a federal court’s decision that granted a motion made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to put a hold on Florida’s cruise ruling while appeals are underway.